|CAW disputes portion of content in CN's application
to the CIRB to certify former BC Rail positions
|May 24, 2005
On March 10, 2005, CN applied to the Canada Industrial Relations Board to integrate the BC Rail unionized workforce into the various
unionized bargaining units on CN. Effective January 1, 2005, the BC Rail unionized workforce fell under the respective CN Collective
Agreements for work rule provisions only, despite still being represented by their specific unions that form the Council of Trade Unions
on BC Rail. Unions representing CN employees do not assume representation of the BC Rail members until such time the CIRB
approves the various applications for certification. Based on requests and objections from the various unions, including the Council of
Trade Unions on BC Rail, the certifications will probably be delayed longer than initially planned.
Within the CAW Council 4000 Bargaining Unit, discussions are still required with CN concerning the non-schedule (management)
positions that duties are traditionally performed by members of the Council 4000 Bargaining Unit. These were to be effective April 1st, or
at which point the CIRB approves certification based on what positions CN determines and advises both Council 4000 and the Board will
revert into the CAW bargaining unit.
Barry Kennedy, Regional Representative for the Council's CN membership in the Mountain Region, explains that they have come across
some problems with CN in finalizing an agreement with respect to this integration, specifically, on the Agreement 5.4 Excavator
During a meeting held in Vancouver February 16, 2005, CN refused to discuss in detail, the aspect of seniority, assignments and
working conditions of those BC Rail members who perform Agreement 5.4 type work on CN. This was on the basis that the
Steelworkers Union (USWA) was not in attendance. Greg Gaudet, CAW Local Chairperson who represents Agreement 5.4 members
and Regional Representative Barry Kennedy were invited to the CN/USWA meeting that was scheduled at the end of March in Vancouver,
however, it was cancelled due to the potential strike of IBEW members. CN instead held a quick telephone conference call on April 1st."
During this call, CN advised both Kennedy and Gaudet that they felt, based on logistics, it would be better to simply assign excavator type
duties that are currently and traditionally performed by CAW Agreement 5.4 members on CN, to the USWA on the BCR right of way. The
USWA represents both extra gang and track maintenance workers on CN.
Based on this, as well as the fact that the Company has yet to complete the December 12, 2004 Memorandum of Agreement signed with
CAW Council 4000 (one such example is completing Appendix ‘A’ and ‘B’ - scheduled workers and non-scheduled respectively),
consensus has not been reached with our bargaining unit, notwithstanding CN has noted otherwise in their March 10th submission to
Accordingly, the CAW has submitted a letter to the CIRB disputing some of the content contained in CN's March 10, 2005 application in
certifying former BC Rail positions and employees into CN's operations and collective agreements. Read both documents by clicking
on the links below.
CAW letter to the CIRB - May 24, 2005
CN application to the CIRB - March 10, 2005